FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is unique about the online Exemplar Skills Test for Accountants and Senior Executives?
Answer: The online Exemplar Skills Test is a practical test that is used to test both employment Candidates and current Employees in over 17 different categories to assess their skill levels and quantify their level of practical experience. It’s a 60-minute test which issues a result in 15 seconds. The result is available to the person who pays for the test. The person who pays for the test can also issue a copy of the result to the Employer and / or Candidate at their discretion.
2. Who are Exemplar’s ideal clients?
Answer: Our ideal client for Exemplar is anyone who has a turnover of, say between $50M and $100M ($$$ million) annual turnover and/or has employees of between 100 – 200 employees. It is not specific to any one sector of the market, however we do work with Recruitment Agencies and Businesses who are looking to fill roles for medium to large sized Accounting Departments.
3. What roles are included in the 1 hour – online Exemplar Skills Test?
Answer: We have a number of online skills tests available from Entry Level Accounting to Senior Accounting Roles, all the way up to CFOs, Senior Executives, Directors and all levels of Boardroom Roles.
Entry Level Roles include:
Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Bookkeeper, Assistant Accountant
Senior Accounting Roles include:
Accountant, Management Accountant and Financial Controller
CFOs, Senior Executives (CEOs) and Boardroom Roles include:
Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Treasurer and Directors of all levels
4. What are the benefits to the client in actually asking potential employees and existing employees to complete this test?
Answer: There are two purposes for employees to complete this test, either for Recruitment purposes (hire new staff) or for Gap Analysis purposes (training existing staff).
The Recruitment purpose is to undertake the test for more than 1 candidate, say the last three candidates who might have applied for a job.
The Skills Gap purpose is to identify the training needs required for an employee already working for the company. In this situation, the employer may want to find out whether they have the capacity and the capabilities of upgrading from an Assistant Accountant to an Accountant, for example.
The skills tests have been written to help employers identify whether the applicant has practical experience or not. A new Accounting Graduate will not score more than 30% in most of the 17 key result areas. Experienced Accountants will score more than 70% in each category and will be more likely to complete the test early. This is why we limit the time to 60 minutes. However, we do allow extra time for those who are struggling to finish. Also, if there is an interruption mid-way through the test, the candidate can pause the test and resume when time permits.
5. What are the benefits to the end-users (candidates / employees)?
Answer: Our online Exemplar Skills Test is just another measurement tool that the employer can use to assist with the hiring process. You will want to be sure you get it right by selecting the best candidate for the job. It is like an insurance policy that gives the employer peace-of-mind that their skills have been checked. In most cases it is a good idea to place all 3 short-listed candidates through the Exemplar Skills Test. The benefit to the candidate / employee is that the right person is selected for the job, because a bad hire is not good for anyone… including the employee.
6. Are candidates / employees overly keen on using this skill test? ?
Answer: It’s a win-win situation, because the employer is happy and the employee is happy. Most importantly, it is more likely that the employer will use that Recruitment Agency again.
7. Are candidates / employees likely to be scared of doing the online Exemplar Skills Test?
Answer: There is nothing for the candidate to be scared of. It merely identifies practical experience, so if the person has done the job before, they are likely to score very highly. It is unusual for a result of less than 70% for an experienced candidate.
8. What are the benefits to the Employer / Recruitment Agent?
Answer: During an interview, you can only ask the questions… and of course all candidates will tell you “yes, of course I can do that task” because they want to be selected for the job. But there is no real way to be sure at what level of experience they have? The answer to this question will be highly subjective in an interview. Just because the candidate has learnt how to complete the task (in theory) at University, does not mean they will be able to competently complete the task on the first day in-the-job.
A wrong decision could cost the business tens of thousands of $$$’s in lost salary, terminating the employee, re-hiring for the new role and re-training the incoming employee. This very easily runs into many months of lost time for everybody. It is not a pleasant experience for the employer, the employee, the recruitment agent or the business.
The Employer or Recruitment Agent can instead focus on the cultural-fit while the Exemplar Skills Test works the rest out for you… at what level can they complete each task? Most Accounting software programs are capable of helping you complete a Bank Reconciliation online. The problem comes when an error has been made with the initial set-up process of the Accounting software. Without the right level of experience, the employee may not pick up that a mistake has been made with the initial set-up. An experienced person will pick this up quickly.
The online Exemplar Skills Test has developed a range of case studies for all levels from Bookkeeper to Senior Executive roles. As an example, the Bookkeeper will need to complete a manual bank reconciliation and fill in the calculations on a writing pad… this will be followed by a series of questions from the “online portal” which will require the right answers to be selected. This will be as simple as choosing the answers from their writing pad calculations… they can select from options A, B, C or D with all questions. But they will need to work through the Case Study first.
During the recruitment process, obviously the Employer / Recruitment Agent will be interviewing to get a good feel about the candidate and whether they’ll be able to fit-in to the organization. The Exemplar Skills Test simply examines the level of practical capabilities of each person which can be done very quickly. By the time you have finished the interviews, the results will be available to help you make a decision.
9. Does the CFO do the same test as the CEO?
Answer: The CFO test and the CEO test are very similar except for the early part of the test which focuses on Corporate Governance, which is a significant aspect of running a business both locally and internationally. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, people are now wanting to know that Senior Executives understand Good Corporate Governance.
10. How do I go about placing an order for this test?
Answer: Simply go to the website exemplarpa.com.au. It’s very simple straight-forward process and has easy-to-follow guidelines.
11. Can you tell me what the results look like?
Answer: We have a short video which shows what the certificate looks like. If you join our registration page for the newsletter and pricing discounts, you will get access to this immediately. There are 17 different categories. The results are shown on a 1-Page Certificate which is certified by two senior executives with over 30 years experience and are members of CPA Australia. Each authentication certificate has an original signature and is validated with a unique number that cannot be duplicated.
The result is summarised and very simply shows on a 1-page report/certificate. It gives an individual score out of 100% for each of the 17 sections and right at the bottom of the page, it shows one over-all score out of 100% for the entire test. Register online NOW for access to the video which illustrates exactly what the skills test certificate looks like.
If you are conducting the test for 3 candidates, a special report is available analysing on 1-Page the results of all 3 candidates. We also have special discounts if you purchase 3 tests for any one job role for a specified client.
12. Do the Accounting range of Skills Tests identify specific areas where further training might improve the result?
Answer: This is not a pass or fail. It’s just an indicator of practical experience. This is the differentiator when you’re recruiting someone for a role. It will make you stand out as a Recruitment Agent and give you the unique edge you need to stand out from your competition.
If you are looking for a Skills Gap Analysis tool for an employee, this can be done very simply analysed in a short one-page report. A different variation of this report can be provided if you have 3 applicants applying for the one role and need to present the report to your Client / Manager / Chairman.
13. How much does it cost to complete an Exemplar Skills Test?
Answer: In the upper levels, it’s approximately $550 dollars and in the lower levels, it’s approximately $350 dollars for each test. There is also a Communication Skills Test (20 minutes) for $79 and a Numerical Skills Test (1 hour) for $179. They also have detailed results on a 1 page report. All 3 tests can be completed for 1 candidate giving a 360 degree wholistic review of the candidate.
14. What’s the unique aspect of this product – Is there anything like this on the market today?
Answer: It’s a unique test in that it is entirely based on practical experience. Highly complex Case Studies are a key component within the actual Exemplar Skills Test especially for the roles from Bookkeeper to Accountant, Treasurer, Financial Controller, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director. All of these case studies have been well thought-out and written by Senior Executives. You will not find any other skills tests that are built and designed like the Exemplar Skills Test. The questions have been written by real CPAs and Executives with over 30 years corporate experience at a very senior level within medium to large sized businesses.
It’s a multiple-choice test, so you have to select one out of four answers.
15. Can the Exemplar Skills Tests be tailored for the overseas market?
Answer: Yes, they can.
They have been developed by Corporate Accountants for Accountants. We specifically have a Corporate Background with experience at all levels including Senior Executives (CEOs) and Directors. The questions are not tax specific, so they can be utilised for global Accountants around the World. We have customised some of the questions to suit other markets, so speak to us if you need something tailored for your unique situation.
It’s a multiple-choice test, so you have to select one out of four answers.
16. In a practical sense, have you used this Skills Test on a large scale / number of people?
We have used it before and after training programs to get a good idea of the specific type of training that is required. We have mentors for one-on-one training with new employees and we can provide group training for more than 10 people at a time. We provide face-to-face and online training.
The tests have been used in our Exemplar Job Ready training program for Accounting Graduates leaving university.
The tests have also been used in our 3 day Corporate Governance Program for Directors and Boards – with Corporates and Not-4-Profits. This program has been run in Australia and overseas – including India and USA for 1-on-1 training and group training (more than 10 people).
If you need an entire Board of Directors to know about Corporate Governance and Financial Literacy. We will teach the Directors –
How to read a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Report and;
How to interpret KPIs and understand complicated and simple questions.
At the higher level of Directors, CEOs and CFOs, they usually have an in-house exercise / process that is fully controlled by the Chairman. He/She controls access to the results of the Exemplar Skills Test… so they can work privately with each Director and build up a relationship over a period of time.
Whether it’s a board of 5 or 15 board members, they all undertake the test in a very private area. The results will be given to the Chairman and the Executive Chairman where the initial analysis is undertaken by Con Livissianis (Director of Exemplar Performance Advantage). Con works with the Executive Chairman and other key players to highlight certain strengths and weaknesses of the Board.
17. Do the Executive range of Skills Tests indicate a Pass or Fail result?
Answer: It’s not a pass or fail type of test, it simply indicates where each of the Director’s can be further trained to ensure they improve their skills and gain confidence to ask the right questions.